Kool-Aid Man Classic 80s Video Game
In our Anomaly podcast episode on classic games, among other favorites, I talked about “Kool-Aid Man”. Kool-Aid is a sugary drink, one made by mixing powdered Kool-Aid mix and sugar with water. It comes in a variety of flavors and we lived on it when we were growing up. When I was a kid, we mailed in a crap-ton of Kool-Aid proof of purchase points to get the Kool-Aid game made for the Atari 2600. That’s A LOT of sugar, people. I don’t know how my parents tolerated us. Anyway, this retro video game features the Kool-Aid mascot: “Kool-Aid Man”. This guy was a giant pitcher filled with the cherry flavored drink. In television commercials, he’d make his appearance by crashing through brick walls, drink pitcher in hand, and announcing himself with: “Oh YEAH!”. Boy were we disappointed when it finally arrived in the mail and we popped it into our Atari 2600. Boring.
The setting of the game is is a pool of water, and the object is to quench the “thirsties”. Thirsties are round things that look like cherries, that try to drink up all of the water in the pool. Running into one of these things on it’s way to drink water results in the player being bumped all over the screen and losing time in the process. But, when a thirsty is drinking from the pool with a giant straw, the player can run into it and take it out. Doing so will apparently “quench its thirst with Kool-Aid” (marketing at its finest?), thus saving the pool of water. Of course we had NO idea this is what the goal was, or that the creatures we were going after were called “Thirsties”.
Winning a level means the player has to quench about 30 thirsties, and once they do they move on to a faster level. One loses the game by running out of time, or by allowing all of the water in the pool to be sucked up by the thirsties.
While the Kool-Aid Man game was initially available exclusively through mail-order, it was later released through traditional retail outlets. It was also ported for the Intellivision, though the game play was different. (Source: Wikipedia).
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